It looks like it wasn’t just the Ted Stevens case in which Justice Department prosecutors screwed up.
Attorney General Eric Holder has found similar missteps in the convictions of two former Alaska state representatives, Victor Kohring and Peter Kott, and has asked that the two be released from prison, reports the AP.
Those convictions sprang from the same wide-ranging probe of corruption in Alaska politics. It was also the same DOJ prosecution team. Five of the six prosecutors in the Stevens case — William Welch, Joseph Bottini, James Goeke, Nicholas Marsh, and Edward Sullivan — ran the Kohring and Kott prosecutions.
Holder is not asking that the charges being dropped, but instead is asking a federal appeals court to send the cases back to the trial judge, acknowledging that the government failed to turn over key evidence to the defense — the very misstep that doomed the Stevens prosecution. Indeed, Holder’s move was the result of a review that he ordered as a result of the Stevens case.
The judge from the Stevens case has ordered a separate investigation into the prosecutorial misconduct on that case, to determine whether to bring contempt charges.
Kohring and Kott were both convicted in 2007 of bribery and extortion-related charges. Kohring was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, and Kott was sentenced to six years in prison.